The changes that occur during menopause seem to leave nothing untouched: your mind may be more prone to anxiety or irritability, your heart health may suffer, and you may even notice changes in your hair! Unfortunately, your digestive tract may change during menopause, too. But don’t despair; you can reduce these changes with a little knowledge and some healthy habits.
What Happens to My Gut Health During Menopause?
Hormones can cause fluctuations in your regular digestive cycle. Some women notice different bowel movements (whether more or less frequent) around the time of their period. Similarly, the loss of estrogen that women experience during menopause can mean that your gut health will require more attention than it did before menopause. Maintaining a healthy digestive system is crucial during menopause because having diverse gut bacteria (the good kind of bacteria) has been linked to helping your body break down estrogen.
Pre-menopausal levels of estrogen serve essential purposes for your gut: they encourage the development of good bacteria and reduce inflammation. Typical changes include gas, bloating, heartburn, and a shift in the frequency of your bowel movements. However, if you notice an extreme difference, it’s always an excellent idea to check with your doctor to rule out anything more sinister. The reason that menopause causes these symptoms is that the drop in estrogen means cortisol levels rise, which can raise your blood pressure and play with your blood sugar. Further, increasing cortisol levels slow down the digestive tract and can cause constipation.
Another, less noticeable change that often occurs is that the body stops absorbing certain nutrients the way that it did before menopause. Your post-menopausal body doesn’t metabolize vitamin B-12 as well as it used to, so it’s important to include a lot of B-12 rich foods in your diet. Calcium, in particular, is crucial for reducing bone loss and preventing dangerous fractures. Post-menopausal women are at a higher risk for osteoporosis, too, and the daily need for calcium increases during menopause.
How Can I Mitigate These Changes?
Getting enough cardiovascular exercise can alleviate the gas, bloating, and constipation—plus, it can help reduce the weight gain that can accompany menopause. Eating healthy foods that contain probiotics can also foster the growth of good bacteria.
Calcium supplements can help, too. Women over 50 will want to aim for 1,200 mg of calcium daily, but also ensure that they don’t get more than they need. Taking over 2,000 mg of calcium daily can increase the risk of developing kidney stones. If you’d rather skip the supplements, canned salmon, green leafy veggies, lentils, beans, soy products, and dairy can help you reach the targeted daily amount.
Don’t Let Menopause Make You Suffer
Menopause causes many changes in your body—but anything that reduces your quality of life or causes a regular inconvenience should be dealt with. That’s why our founders developed Membrasin®. Vaginal dryness is one of the most common symptoms during menopause, and Membrasin® products have been clinically proven to help restore vaginal moisture. Try the Membrasin® 2-Step Starter Pack today to find out just how good it can feel to be post-menopausal.